Make One Good Step and the Others Seem Easier

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What is it about change that makes it so hard?  I finally figured something out. When you have to make a change, you’ve got to take your time.  Simply make one good step and the others seem easier. Before you know it, what was impossible to imagine doing suddenly is no problem.

All it takes is one good step.

Here are some challenges that might come up.

Budgeting & Saving

Budgeting your money is the only way to financial stability. Talk about a chore, but what are you going to do? The good thing is it doesn’t have to be complicated. You’ll need to track the following figures:

  • The amount and source of income,
  • Fixed expenses such as rent, mortgage payment, and car payment,
  • Variable expenses like utilities, gas, groceries, and entertainment.

Tracking where your money goes will actually give you more freedom. Take advantage of that and you’ll be a step closer to reaching your financial goals through saving and investing.

Use this sample to make one good step towards creating a monthly budget.
Here’s an sample of a monthly budget spreadsheet.

Investing in yourself to prepare for the future is a big deal. However, stashing away some of your hard-earned cash is difficult. I like investing with the Stash app. What is Stash? According to the website, “Stash is a personal finance app that simplifies investing, making it easy and affordable for everyday Americans to build wealth and achieve their financial goals.” With Stash, you can invest weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Furthermore, when you set up auto-pay you’ll be amazed at how quickly it adds up.

In short, don’t let budgeting and saving get you down. Make one good step as you grab a piece of paper, write down the particulars, and learn where your money is going. Then, take a few bucks, check out an app like Stash, and start investing.

Healthy Activities

Working out, walking, and dancing are just a few of the healthy activities you can do to keep your physical and mental health in order. But, how do you motivate yourself when the couch feels so good and you’ve had a really stressful day? By making a small effort towards moving more.

Perhaps you’ll put some music on and walk up and down the stairs a couple of times. Maybe you’ll go outside and take a stroll around the house. You don’t need to make a big deal of it; just do it.

There, you’ve done a workout. After taking the first steps towards adding some healthy activities to your day, the next day it’s a little easier to double up on your workout. So, you’ll go up and down the stairs 3 or 4 times and encircle your kingdom twice. Keep moving…you can do this.

Make one good step and start a running routine.

Check out this Dance Safari post, “Get in Shape for the ’20s with Ballroom Dance Lessons“.

Losing Weight is the #1 Battle for Lots of Us 

Okay, here’s my dieting story. Like many others, the stressful pandemic resulted in an unsightly protective layer around my middle. Not only that, I’ve been indulging in the good Southern cooking for the 3 years I’ve been in North Carolina.

The truth is, I’ve been fat and I’ve been skinny. Skinny’s better for me, and not only for appearance sake. Obviously, I want to continue doing healthy activities. Carrying around a lot of extra weight is slowing me down. That doesn’t work for me. Besides, as someone who lost 60 lbs and kept it off for 6 years, I’m fearful of gaining it all back. I’ve told myself over and over again, this putting on the pounds has to stop. Alas, to no avail.

On January 13, 2014, I signed up for Weight Watchers (now called WW) and it changed my life.

The thing about WW is you can eat anything, but you have to track what they call points. The points are the value assigned by WW to all foods. What I liked is that I had to track 30 points instead of counting calories and tracking over 2,000 each day. There’s an app that gives the point values of tons of foods so there’s no guessing. Going food shopping? It’s easy to scan an item to find the points assigned to it.

Dieting has a habit of making people feel deprived when it comes to the food they love.

With this in mind, I thought about the things that I didn’t want to give up and planned my diet accordingly. For example, if you would feel totally put out giving up pizza or ice cream, just figure it into your day, and use the rest of the points to round out your meals.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot something! In order to encourage you to eat for health and weight loss, there are many 0 point foods to choose from. Tracking how much you eat is important to keep you honest, but zero point foods don’t have to be tracked. How cool is that? Not only that, but you can get extra points to use by doing some healthy activities.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make my one good step to get back on the wagon.

Step one: It’s a little thing, but I went to my calendar and marked a big “1” on January 13th. Since that was the date I started my journey in 2014, I figured that date would inspire me to do the right thing.

Step two: Since January 13th was a few weeks out, it gave me time to prepare my mind and my kitchen for success. Because out of sight is out of mind, I got rid of a bunch of goodies. I then studied the list of 200 zero point foods I placed on my refrigerator. Then, I went shopping.

I took those 2 little steps along with adding a few healthy activities and had an easy time adapting to my new (old) way of eating. As a matter of fact, it’s been more than a week and I don’t feel deprived at all. Without a doubt, I can do this.

You don’t have to be a superstar with money management, exercising, or losing weight. Just make one good step toward your goal and the next step will be easier.

Just for fun, here’s a pickup line my new smartwatch thought would make me smile.

Are you a library book?  Cause I’m checking you out.”

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